The role of the transition classroom - Flat Bush Primary School - 2022
Our transition classroom, is a bridge between Early Childhood or Home experiences and beginning school. This space is where our youngest learners will start their school journey. Like all our classrooms, we use the key competencies from the New Zealand Curriculum and the Flat Bush school values, plus we also utilise the strands from Te Whariki (Early Childhood Document) to inform our planning and teaching practice.
Within this space our children will have the opportunity to develop early learning, foundation and social skills.
These include, but are not limited to: fine motor skills, gross motor skills, eye/hand coordination development, social interaction skills, reading, writing, maths and oral language development and communication.
Additionally, this is a space where our newest members of the Flat Bush whanau come together to make positive connections, contributions and gain a sense of belonging within their new environment. Each child's well being is at the forefront of everything we do within this classroom.
Learning Experiences: Our students learn through experiences. These are some examples of the teaching and learning that happens in our Transition Classroom.
Oral language experiences: These are developed through play, providing opportunities for the children to do and experience. Through these experiences, they can talk about what they are doing, ask questions, discuss and predict what will happen next. These experiences can include cooking, visiting other spaces in the school, Patch Play, role play & puppets, reading to and listening to stories, listening to each other, singing and rhymes and listening games, for example Simon Says.
Learning through Play: Students have choice in what and how they learn for most of the school day. Learning through play allows our children to make sense of their world in a fun and engaging way. Teachers also set up learning provocations, related to topics, the students needs and passions and inquiry. Teachers notice what children are interested in and respond to that. All learning can be linked to the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Wharaki.
Engage games: The Engage programme is a self regulation programme. Self regulation is a like a muscle that can be developed through regular practice. Children can not be expected to sit and focus on tasks unless they are able to self regulate. Through the playing of simple games, children are given opportunities to practise social skills, turn taking and sharing, communication, memory development and relationship development.
Reading, Writing and Mathematics: These core subjects are learnt through experiences and hands-on activities. We focus on developing a strong awareness of letter names and sounds. We call this Phonological Awareness. This is the ability to recognise and manipulate spoken sounds in words and sentences. This is a vital skill that will support our learners as they begin to read and write. Reading at this level is being able to identify features of books and how to read and to look after texts. Reading is listening to stories, being about to retell what we have heard and may include children reading simple books. Writing at this level is talking about what we would like to say, picture planning and recording our ideas by exploring with print. Mathematics is based on hands-on experiences, where children get to explore with measurement (length, space etc), quantities (weight and number), patterns (shapes, colours, size), construction, counting and problem solving. Teachers will also support children to develop number knowledge and identification.
Routines and Expectations: within this space the children will be given the opportunity to learn about the dynamics of school in a positive and flexible way. This will be done through following daily rituals and routines. Within this our children will learn their limits and boundaries, while exploring in a safe, nurturing environment.
Most importantly, our transition classroom is where our new students develop a love for learning and begin to gain the skills needed to become lifelong, successful learners.